Getting on with impeachment

Lisa & Thomas Collecting More Signatures In
Support Of Impeachment At The Farmer’s Market
(Takoma Park, MD)

Originally uploaded by takomabibelot. (Thanks!)

Fellow Takoma Park Impeach Bush & Cheney volunteer Lisa Moscatiello and I (1) got about 100 signatures, (2) distributed about a dozen lawn signs and two dozen buttons, and (3) acquired two sunburns this weekend in an hour and a half or so of petitioning at the Takoma Park Farmer’s Market this past weekend.

It was kind of fun, actually — for one thing, it’s not a tough crowd, but for another, it beats doing nothing about the hypocrites and criminals running things from the White House.

We’re also very fortunate to have something concrete and local to work towards — a city council resolution calling for impeachment that will come to a vote on July 23. Thanks once again to Councilman Reuben Snipper for sponsoring the resolution.

For those of you who want to try this yourselves at home, we’re using a variety of resources, including the “Impeach Bush Now!” site and the “Impeachment Resource Center” at Looking around the second one, I found that the Takoma Park, MD resolution that will come to a vote on July 23 is similar the one passed by Fairfax, California; there are a number of other models to choose from as well.

But we’re also making up a lot ourselves as we go; Michelle Bailey, in particular, has been instrumental in getting the green lawn signs that have started sprouting around town, and in organizing public comment period speakers at city council meetings. July 4th will hopefully be a good day for getting petition signatures; if you’d like to help with that, contact


Meanwhile, here’s James Madison once again, this time on the Scooter Libby story. At the Constitutional Convention, Madison was answering George Mason’s concern that the President might use his pardoning power to “pardon crimes which were advised by himself” or, before indictment or conviction, “to stop inquiry and prevent detection”:

[I]f the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds tp believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty*

— 1974 House Judiciary Committee post-Watergate report, Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment: Chapter II. The Historical Origins of Impeachment: B. The Intentions of the Framers. Via David Swanson (“After Downing Street”).

CROSSPOSTED from newsrack.


10 Responses to “Getting on with impeachment”

  1. 1 Swint July 3, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Good Idea, impeach them. Oh and we can attempt to impeach every president from here on out. We impeached Clinton and Bush (42 &43) why not make it a presidential tradition. How about before we start impeaching every president, we make sure there is legal justification and it is used only for the most egregious offenses. Bush has been far from perfect and has done a lot of stupid things, but none of them justify Impeachment. Not even Clinton’s perjury justified it, and that was a blatant crime that was proven.

  2. 2 Thomas Nephew July 3, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Actually, Bush’s admitted violations of the FISA law alone justify impeachment. But as the Madison quote above shows, impeachment wasn’t intended to be simply for narrowly criminal acts — any transgression rising to the level of “treason, bribery, high crimes or misdemeanors” was to be adjudicated not in a court of law, but by Congress.

    To paraphrase arguments by Jamie Raskin and others, what’s important is that impeachment — a purely political punishment — suit the injury to the nation as a whole. That is, lying about a marital infidelity isn’t impeachable (in my view), while lying about the basis for war, failing to faithfully execute the laws of the United States is, or committing war crimes like approving torture are impeachable. Bush’s acts are far more serious than Clinton’s, and completely suffice for articles of impeachment. Indeed, the Libby pardon signals that nothing less will do.

    Thanks for your comment.

  3. 3 Thomas Nephew July 3, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    PS: So I agree with you — good idea, impeach them. 🙂

  4. 4 Amy July 4, 2007 at 3:45 am

    Here are some things that justify impeachment according The Law. Breaking The Law:
    1. Violating UN Charter by launching an illegal war against Iraq and using fraud to sell the war to Congress and the public.
    2. Violating U.S. and intl law by authorizing the torture of thousands of captives, resulting in dozens of deaths, and keeping prisoners hidden from the Intl. Red Cross
    3. Violating the CONSTITUTION by detaining Americans, legal residents, and non-Americans without due process.
    4. Violating the Geneva Conventions
    5. Violating US law and the CONSTITUTION through widespread wiretapping of the phone calls and emails of Americans without a warrant (I would say that’s a big worse than stupid and egregious.)
    6.Signing Statements have been used to defy more than SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY LAWS passed by Congress.
    7.Violating the law by obstructing honest elections in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006.
    8.Violating the law by using paid propaganda and selectively and misleadingly leaking classified info, and exposing a covert CIA operative working on sensitive WMD proliferation programs.
    9.Gross negligence in failing to assist New Olreans residents after Katrina.
    10.Ignoring urgent warnings of an Al Quada attack prior to 9/11.
    And so so so much more.
    I know impeachment is a very serious step that should never be trivialized (like it was during Clinton’s) but it is NECESSARY AND INDESPENSABLE (and the only tool left) of checks and balances that upholds our democracy.
    Thank you.

  5. 5 Amy July 4, 2007 at 3:51 am

    Oh, also, according the Attorney General Wrisley Brown in the 1913 Harvard Law Review:
    To determine whether or not an act or a course of conduct is sufficient in law to support an impeachment, resort must be had to the eternal principles of right, applied to public propriety and civil morality. The offense must be prejudicial to the public interest and it must flow from a willful intent, or a reckless disregard of duty…It may constitute an intentional violation of positive law, or it may be an official dereliction of commission or omission, a serious breach of moral obligation, or other gross improperiety of personal conduct that, in its natural consequences, tends to bring an office into contempt and disrepute.

    Hmmm…just stupid egregious stuff?

  6. 6 takomaparkibc July 5, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Regarding impeachment – I don’t see why this is considered such a bad thing. Clinton DID commit perjury, which is a crime. He was impeached and was not convicted. And the republic still stands!!! I personally think he deserved what he got.

    I do believe that the many things Bush and Cheney have done are FAR WORSE and do count as grounds for impeachment, and that if you, like Barack Obama don’t consider this to be a case in which imepachment is justified, then perhaps you believe that it should be struck from the Constitution altogether.

    Just because you hire someone to do a job for four years doesn’t mean you can’t fire them before that time is up to keep them from making an even bigger mess. If they believe they can’t be removed from office or even perhaps convicted of a crime, then they will continue to do whatever they please, no matter how destructive.

  7. 7 Arthur Rambo July 10, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Its always interesting to see the most egregious complaint left out by the prolific impeachment crowd- that being the dereliction of duty to protect us from foreign invasion- like the one we are witnessing from the south. I’m all for impeachment of bush, and then the rest of the subversives who refuse to stop aiding, abetting, and encouraging illegal entry, which is a felony, by the way.

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